Movie shorts
by Scott Snyder

I don't really go to the movies to see a movie. I go to the movies to see the animated theater mascots, the greatest cinematic innovation since color and sound. My favorite is the guy made of film at the AMC theaters, and the film reel who acts as both his sidekick and his skateboard. Few big screen idols of this era can match his charm and suavity. The movie-snacks musicians at General Cinemas theaters come in a close second, though, and can rock besides. Who'd've thought a box of raisinettes could play the saxophone so ebuliently, especially while it's asking you to throw it in the garbage after you're done eating its contents? The most impressive thing, I think, about this piece of animation is that, not only do the animated instruments match the ones we actually hear, the notes we see being played even match what we hear. In terms of verisimilitude, this band has the Camel Cigarettes Hard Pack beat handily.

David Letterman has accepted the Academy folks' request to host this year's awards show, after Billy Crystal and Whoopie Goldberg didn't work out. Look for a whole hell of a lot of "Top Ten Reasons why Letterman Will (Won't) Be a Great Oscar Host" postings on the Net. Look for most of these postings not to be all that funny. Most of the potential jokes are obvious, and I will eschew them.

It strikes me, though, that Letterman must be relieved not to find Madonna's name in any movie credits this year.

According to The New Yorker, Robert Altman plans a screen adaptation of Tony Kushner's Angels in America play cycle. As an Altman fan and an admirer of the play, I look forward to the film's release. I only wonder what part Tim Robbins will play...

The current releases seem rife with titles that do the critic's job on themselves. Dumb and Dumber: "...dumber still the man who goes to see it..." I.Q.: "...assumes a less than Einsteinian I.Q. for its audience..." The Last Seduction: " one could stand to see another one..." A Man of No Importance: "...and a movie of still less..." Speechless: "...we can only wish that it were..." You'd think such things would occur to the producers. On the other hand, remember Oscar...?

I wonder what Einstein would think of I.Q., the Fred Schepisi film in which he features prominently as a character. To my knowledge, no one has ever made a movie about the man before, and there is a certain pleasant irony in his making a screen debut in a love story.

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